5 Reasons to make culture a priority

By David Friedman, Founder/CEO Everywhere you look these days – from the business journals to the sports magazines – people are writing and talking about culture. Organizations of every type have realized the powerful role that culture plays in success, and rather than relegating it to an HR initiative, the best ones have made it a key strategic priority. In my observation, there are 5 key drivers for this shift in prioritization, and one or more of these apply to virtually every one of us. To stand out and win business Most of us exist in pretty commoditized industries, where …

Your Culture Should Be Completely Unique, Right?

By Jake Friedman, Consultant Wrong. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Use best practices. These type of maxims are liberally dispensed in most aspects of business, but when it comes to culture, there’s often some hesitancy to apply the same concepts. Shouldn’t your culture be completely unique to your company? Wouldn’t the behaviors your employees need to practice be different from the ones that the next company practices? Actually, no. In fact, I’d argue quite the opposite. For the most part, the large majority of behaviors (or “Fundamentals,” as we call them) being practiced in a world-class company are likely the same …

Culture 2018: The Year in Review

By Senior Consultant, Bill Kaiser It’s time to take our last look at 2018 as we wind down and then gear up for the excitement that lies ahead in 2019. I hope that 2018 has been an outstanding and rewarding year for you both personally and professionally. And I wish you massive success in 2019! I wanted to provide you with a summary of the “Blogs of 2018.” A convenient collection of the titles, brief summaries, and links to our Culture insights of this past year. We enjoy sharing and learning together and look forward to continuing the same in …

The Road to High Performance Requires a Map

By Senior Consultant, Al Curnow Imagine that you’re going on a road trip to someplace you’ve never been before. You’ve filled the car with gas, brought your sunglasses in case of road glare, and even packed a few snacks for the ride. The only problem is, your mobile phone isn’t working. You don’t have access to Waze, Google maps or any other method of GPS. Worse, you threw out all of your old paper maps. Since you cancelled your AAA membership, you can’t go there and ask for a triptik (if they still even offer them). How are you feeling …

Giving the Gift of Culture

By Senior Consultant, Rob Wolff We’re now in that stressful period between Thanksgiving and the end of the year when most of us start to feel the pressure of the “Giving Season.” I don’t know about you, but I seem to feel an underlying sense of panic each year to find gifts that are new and exciting, and that top whatever I’ve given in prior years. There’s also some pressure (admittedly all self-imposed) to make the “right” gift personal – something that reflects the needs and wants of the recipient. Most of us have plenty of people on our gift …

A Different Point of View on Assessments

By Founder/CEO, David Friedman As we begin to work with our clients on implementing the Fundamentals System™, I’m sometimes asked whether or not we should do some sort of “assessment” of the culture first. My answer may surprise you, as it’s one of the many places where we tend to buck conventional wisdom. But as I explain why, I think you’ll see the point clearly. Traditional thinking would suggest that before we can know where we’re going, we first have to clearly understand where we are today. And so companies will often do surveys of their employees, asking for their …

The Human Desire for Greatness

By Jake Friedman, Consultant One of the common questions or forms of push-back we often receive from CEOs and other senior leaders is, “what will our employees think of the Fundamentals?” Sure, this stuff sounds great as owners and managers, but won’t our regular employees, our sales team, receptionists, account managers, and definitely our truck drivers and manual laborers think this is all just some pointless b.s.? This is a very real and understandable fear. For one, we need our employees to buy in if this is going to be successful. And additionally, as human beings, most of us have …

Follow the Humble Leader

By Bill Kaiser, Senior Consultant This past Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal published an article written by Sue Shellenbarger, titled “The Best Bosses Are Humble Bosses.” It was a great reminder on one of the most important leadership traits of all: humility. Coincidentally, Wednesday also happened to be the start of our 4th Annual Culture Summit – a gathering of great “bosses” sharing the impact of their high performing cultures on the performance of their teams and organizations. Having the fortune of working closely with many great leaders, I get to see first-hand how they interact with their teams and in …

The Power of a Common Language

When you decide to become intentional in designing and driving an extraordinary culture, there’s a myriad of benefits you can expect. Improved performance, greater alignment among team members, and a positive impact on the bottom line are among them. White it may take some time to begin to see some of these benefits (behavioral change takes time), there is one consequence you’ll begin to see immediately- the creation and adoption of a new common language. Begin at the beginning When taking clients through our process to drive culture, we always begin by helping define precisely what they want their culture …

Today’s Menu: World-class Culture

By Rob Wolff, Senior Consultant My wife and I recently had the unique (for us) opportunity to have dinner at a 3 star Michelin restaurant. I really didn’t have an idea what to expect other than some great food.  What we actually experienced was just that – an experience.  The food was among, if not the best we ever had, but the experience itself was what left an indelible impression on both of us.  The word “flawless” comes to mind – from our arrival at the restaurant, every interaction with staff was gracious, unobtrusive, and just what we needed at …